Town of Parker, homeowners push back against proposed trash facility

PARKER, Colo. -- A battle over garbage is brewing in Douglas County.

Parker homeowners and leaders of a nearby university said they won't stop fighting until the county prevents a trash and recycling transfer facility from being built in an unincorporated area just north of E-470.

Homeowners filled a good portion of a lecture hall Wednesday night at Rocky Vista University for a community meeting.

Parker officials, university representatives and homeowners are banding together in an attempt to force Douglas County to prevent a trash facility from being built in the area.

Over time, the neighborhood has assumed a medical campus and residential identity, but neighboring land just inside unincorporated Douglas County has been zoned as commercial and industrial since 1998 -- long before homes were built in the area.

Resident concerns include noise, traffic, air pollution and plummeting home values. University leaders worry the facility will hamper their efforts of attracting high-caliber students.

"We understand the necessity, but we think that there's probably [another] area in unincorporated Douglas County that could handle this," said Rock Vista University president Clinton Adams.

Douglas County officials said the facility is still under consideration. If approved, residents can appeal to elected county commissioners.

The start of an appeal process is still months down the road, according to those close to the effort.

Mountain Waste and Recycling is the company seeking approval from the county.

Company president Scott Eden said it's challenging to find the perfect location for this type of facility. He warns if the trash and recycling transfer facility is forced into a rural area, waste pickup would become less efficient.

Eden also said there shouldn't be noise and pollution concerns because the proposed site would be a closed-off covered facility.